Borderline News from NK: Hyesan and Forest Fires

Hyesan is getting spruced up with some funds from the center. Meanwhile, the ever-vigilant Juchechosunmanse digs up a real find: Back in October North Korea watchers were perplexed by the fires in the DPRK’s northeast, namely in Ryanggang-do and Hamgyong-bukdo. The Daily NK has just reported [ed. in Chinese] that the forest fires were caused by people burning corn roots to get rid of insects and worms in … Continue reading Borderline News from NK: Hyesan and Forest Fires

Interpreting North Korean Forest Fires

Chinese internet sites are now reporting on the extensive forest fires in North Korea.  Most interesting is how they are interpreting the fires, emphasizing the idea that they may be occurring around North Korean missile launching sites. The Reuters report in which this speculation is buried is here.   Yet somehow the Chinese media makes it the headline.   Is this another subtle means of putting pressure … Continue reading Interpreting North Korean Forest Fires

News from Yanji

Well, North Korea may be on fire, but the wise Chinese Communist Party has apparently decided that releasing the news in the PRC would disturb social harmony.  Or otherwise interfere with its evolving master narrative on North Korea.  As Professor Jonathan Pollack reminds us, the PRC narrative now includes sticks as well as carrots, and features some unprecedented public criticism of North Korea. So instead … Continue reading News from Yanji

North Korean Frontier Provinces are On Fire

Joshua Stanton at One Free Korea has been perusing satellite imagery again.  Normally this results in his steady and impressive posting of labor camps, as well as compounds and villas in the DPRK.  (For a fascinating interview with Stanton’s colleague in this pursuit, Curtis Melvin of NK Economy Watch blog, on the Rachel Maddow show, click here.) But today Joshua hit upon something rather alarming: … Continue reading North Korean Frontier Provinces are On Fire